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Restaurant Job Goals


By Prev Info - January 19, 2023

Restaurant Job Goals

The head chef may have the most recognizable role in the kitchen, but restaurants offer other career opportunities as well. Working with fire and knives in a fast-paced environment may seem like enough excitement for a beginning prep cook fresh from culinary school, but veteran restaurant workers often have other aspirations. Although the job titles and responsibilities differ, setting job goals is as important to restaurant staff as it is to office workers. Knowing whether you're aiming for chef de cuisine or for the business side of the venture can help you set your sights.

Executive Chef

Not all restaurants have an executive chef, but corporate restaurants, cruise ships, hotels and restaurant chains typically have one or many executive chefs. Executive chefs may spend little time in a particular restaurant, instead traveling to oversee multiple locales. Celebrity chefs generally hold this title, earning their position after decades of work to build a family of restaurants. Executive chefs are responsible for determining the overall direction of a number of restaurants, hiring managers and creating menus. This restaurant role pays well, but places heavy responsibility on the executive chef. Some executive chefs may miss the opportunity to spend more time in the kitchen.

Head Chef

The head chef is the ruler of a restaurant that has no executive chef. Responsible for everything from managerial decisions to creating the menu to preparing the food to devising attractive plating styles, a head chef's job requires a broad array of skills. Restaurant workers rarely reach the goal of becoming a head chef without years of kitchen experience and often at least a year of front-of-house experience as a waiter or maitre d'hotel. While some head chefs may eventually decide to become executive chefs, others prefer to remain more integrated with the kitchen. Sous chefs and line cooks who aspire to become head chefs should focus on perfecting their cooking techniques, developing their managerial skills, understanding food costs versus plate prices and keeping abreast of culinary trends.

Sous Chef

If the head chef is the ruler of the restaurant, the sous chef is that ruler's trusted general. Responsible for managing the kitchen on a daily basis and maintaining quality control, a sous chef takes charge of the hands-on preparation and service of the food. Aspiring chefs whose passion is food itself, not the restaurant around it, may prefer to remain sous chefs so they can be a vital part of the hustle of kitchen life without having to concern themselves with hiring and firing staff or dealing with food costs.

Manager

Like any business, restaurants need managers. The chefs and line cooks supply the creative talent, while the staff in the front of the house -- the waiters, bartenders and hosts -- provide the welcoming service that keeps patrons coming back. Managers forge a link between the front of the house and the back of the house as well as handling the day-to-day office work of paying bills and keeping records. Managers also hire and fire restaurant staff, provide customer service, and fill in when the restaurant is shorthanded. Prospective restaurant managers must pay attention to details, be highly organized, enjoy variety at work and feel comfortable dealing with a broad spectrum of personalities.






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